Back in the day, when the clubs at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney attracted huge crowds to the dance floor, there was no more exciting place to be than inside Mannequins. A multi-story space that bridged the upper and lower parts of Pleasure Island. It featured a full bar, kitchen, fantastic DJs, and that famous rotating dance floor. Sadly, the club has sat shuttered since September of 2008.
The good news is that the re-invention of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs will breath new life into this space. It will be the future home of Morimoto Asia, a new concept from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the Patina Group, and design studio Studio V Architecture. The restaurant will be the Japanese Master Chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience.
“I’m very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Chef Morimoto. “It’s a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent.”
Set on the ‘Springs’ side of The Landing, Morimoto Asia will feature waterside seating, terraces, a grand hall, and a cocktail lounge.
Morimoto Asia’s culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Morimoto’s inspiration and perspective will create an unmatched dining experience in this richly layered setting.
“We are delighted to work with Morimoto to create this one of a kind restaurant, which will be a spectacular dining destination at the new Disney Springs,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.
“We’re thrilled to bring Chef Morimoto’s renowned culinary style to Disney Springs as we expand the range of dining experiences for our resort guests as well as local Florida residents,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.
Looking at a few of the other restaurant concepts from Design V, has me pretty excited about what they can do with this space. And, of course, The Patina Group has brought many spectacular restaurants and dishes to Disney fans on both coasts including Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli in EPCOT and Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney.
Morimoto Asia is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2015 at The Landing.